Wednesday, 5 March 2014

30 Odd Years Takes Off, Reviews, '79 Now Taxiing, Gigs, Petula Clark, Wilfred Owen, William Wordsworth, Crimea .........


First Things First - Pretty overwhelmed at Gnu Inc Central with the responses to 30 ODD YEARS - Gratitude, Thanks and Appreciation To: everyone who contributed to getting 30 OYS  off the ground, in particular Andrew Paul Shaw (Art work and Design Guru at http://www.vicgodard.co.uk/ ) and Mike Coe (Doctor of Music Guru) without whom 30 OYs would not be as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious as it is.
Thanks to everyone from All Over The World who has bought the CDs and a big welcome to people we've not had the pleasure of selling to before (I think we boosted the local Post Office business significantly over the last couple of weeks, the Postmaster remarked he hopes we start exporting in quantities to the US!) and to everyone who has done/is doing reviews, they are all on the main website here - http://www.vicgodard.co.uk/30_odd_reviews.html
From Gnu to You -                                            
Stop Press.......30 Odd Years spotted in shops......... in Glasgow, Brighton, Liverpool & W London........... 
http://www.monorailmusic.com/
http://www.resident-music.com/
http://www.roughtrade.com/pages/about
http://www.probe-records.com/Contact/contact.htm 


A couple of brain draining days spent sorting travel for first leg of the '30 Odd Years Tour' - Salford, Preston, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent and Leek, full details at either  http://www.vicgodard.co.uk/vic_godard_live.html or https://www.facebook.com/vic.godard.3
Plane tickets x 2Train tickets x 9 & Hotels x 6 ( bit of a sporting theme with a couple of them following on from our stay at Headingley). Also booked hotel for Blackpool as all but the grim going fast if you want parking, proximity to venues and the chance of some sleep.

Followed by the the unbridled joy of a probably fruitless day spent on MCPS/PRS website - (Vic thought this was their logo - I can understand why)
Laptop Blues by TuBeLuv 2014

Talking of gigs.....the gnu said she's looking forward to what looks like a bonzer year of shows,   a new '30 Odd Years' set and each gig booked so far looks like it is going to be pretty special, with some fab groups lining up with the Sect -

Kill Pretty http://killprettyuk.wordpress.com/ , Pellethead https://www.facebook.com/Pelletheadband?fref=ts , June Brides http://www.junebridesmusic.com/ , Yeah Yeah Noh https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yeah-Yeah-Noh/179922345453384?ref=ts&fref=ts , Teen Canteen http://www.teencanteen.co.uk/ , Blue Orchids https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Orchids/421040661291884 and The Short Stories http://www.breakingdownrecordings.com/the-short-stories to name just a few. One of Particulat favourites of the gnu are Kill Pretty, thinks Eon Morse a positively mesmerising live performer, and Chris, Josh and Mike aren't half bad either -
 
Other News - There's been a spate of the Goddards lately, I don't know what set it off but it's contagious and definitely seems to be irking the gnu, noticed the middle one amongst the new T's.                                                                       
 


CUE FANFARE............   
Vic has been back in the studio and all that is left to record on 1979 Now is some more backing vocals on a couple of tracks and then it's all done!!! (Barring the mixing/mastering)
And.......wait for it...........release on Aed scheduled for September!!!

In August a DVDCD of Vic's gig at the Town & Country Club 1992 is due for release, with Edwyn C, Paul C, Segs and Martin Duffy accompanying.

Incidental News - Vic was asked if the Sect might be up for supporting The Sonics on their European tour this spring but there was only one date that was possible, quite a few of the others clashed with 30 Odd Years gigs so a non starter, probably for the best. 


Veering off in a somewhat different direction now - and I appreciate it's a vast over-simplification of events -
                                        
The Crimean War 1853-1856 devastated the economic and social foundations of the peninsula, the repercussions impacted globally and fundamentally changed the balance of power in Europe and set the stage for The Great War 1914-18, which fundamentally changed the balance of power in the World and set the stage for World War ll 1939-45, which fundamentally changed the balance of power in Europe and the World and set the stage for.................
Relief of the Light Brigade by Richard Caton Woodville 1897


Extraordinary early Crimean War Photographs here by Roger Fenton, March-June 1855 - 
http://www.allworldwars.com/Crimean-War-Photographs-by-Roger-Fenton-1855.html
So are we on the very precarious edge of a cusp of a new era of People Power.........or as Private Fraser (Dad's Army - http://www.dadsarmy.co.uk/) often says " We're Doomed ".
It's a tempting thought but I can't actually see the UK clipping the financial wings of the likes of the pro putin oligarchs, etc, who reside on our shores, funnelling their huge gains from workers elsewhere through our economies without it seems to the lay person like me, much in place to check their progress and which, depending on your viewpoint, has some of us seeing it as a  form of asset stripping. 

A sad and bitter irony that we are commemorating the start of the First World War this year: http://www.warpoets.org/poets/

'The Old Lie' -  DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI - " IT IS SWEET AND GLORIOUS TO DIE FOR ONE'S COUNTRY "


DULCE ET DECORUM EST by WILFRED OWEN

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. —
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.


 If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, —
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

                                       This is a beautiful and touching reading by Sam West.
 
   
        " Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"
 Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr -   http://www.19thcenturyphotos.com/Alphonse-Karr-124333.htm


Before you decide you may as well end it all now, Spring has Sprung -

Daffodils by William Wordsworth


 I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: -
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company!
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.



Bye for now.

PS Nearly forgot, set up a sound cloud thingy -https://soundcloud.com/gertie-grocott/vic-godard-end-of-the-surrey












Monday, 20 January 2014

Gnu Getting to Grips - 30 ODD YEARS, Random Thoughts, War Poets, What's In Store, A Quick Look Back & More


New Year's Greetings from Gert, the gnu and everyone at Gnu Inc/Sect Central. Slow out of the stalls but making up the ground and coming up fast on the rails with the finishing line in sight. 
'30 ODD YEARS'  Double CD Compilation 1978-2012 
        

No more racing metaphors, promise but I will be metaphorically leaping about all over the place as things come to mind so please bear with me. Been holding back because of the release of 30 ODD YEARS and not wanting to put another hoodoo on it - Gnu Inc already made the mistake of being over optimistic and announced that 30 OYs would be out mid December 2013, that mice and men thing again, underestimating timescales and not factoring in the possible impact of seasonal ailments/weather,etc on schedules. We were also going to have a release party at the end of January/beginning of February, but avoiding the hoodoo effect by not booking a venue before having a delivery date means there's no time to organise now so we're going to have a 30 Odd Years celebratory gig (or 2!) later in the year. HOWEVER it is definitely worth the short delay - 2 CDs, 43 Tracks spanning songs written from 1976 (recorded from 1978) to 2012, compiling the songs, mostly from fans' suggestions was a real trip down Memory Lane  and they have all been brilliantly remastered for 30 OYs by Mike Coe. Gnu's discovered how to make videos without film, Hey, What's Your Name is one of her favourite songs from 30 OYs - (ignore the picture, it's not Stamp of a Vamp, that was one of the first attempts and not wholly successful - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMJW6u6rPdM



 We have our web guru and ace designer Andrew Paul Shaw to thank for the eye catching art work together with Andréa Cerqueira's evocative photograph taken in Lyons in early 2012. There's an 8pp booklet with notes by Tracey Holloway & Lee McFadden, Marc Riley, Michael White, Philip King & Kevin Pearce. Additional in depth track by track notes and Vic's random ruminations on 30 OYs will be available to download on 3rd February from the website: www.vicgodard.co.uk 
E.g -Disc 1 Track 10-Stop That Girl + The Black Arabs with horns on loan from Dexy’s and a local Turkish accordion player-
 A rare occasion when disparate elements came together to make a unique record - Stop That Girl was first recorded by Vic Keary at Chalk Farm Studios London in 1979 for a single, released on Oddball/Rough Trade RT068 in 1981. Other outings for the song-Vic Godard: The Retrospective (1976-81) LP Rough Trade 1985 (also released on CD in 1996 as We Oppose All Rock and Roll Overground Records); el Records 12” 1985 ; 20 Odd Years (1999) & Singles Anthology (2005), Motion Records; T.R.O.U.B.L.E. Rough Trade 1996 and In T.R.O.U.B.L.E Again Tugboat 001 1998.Stop That Girl with Mark Laff Manchester 2007 filmed by Andrew Shaw - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra4eRGZkflA

And a taster of Vic's bon mots - '' My songs developed in 1978 after I started to play guitar in the group and I wrote for lead and rhythm guitar on Different Story, Double Negative, Vertical Integration and Empty Shell and together with Stool Pigeon, Why Did You Shoot Me?, Derail Your Senses, Not Watching The Devil and Imbalance, the songs from the ‘lost’ LP that I rerecorded for 1978 Now in 2006/7, all featured in our set on The Great Unknowns Tour with the Lou’s. The blue print for the sound I wanted on 1978 Now was an old cassette of a rehearsal for The Great Unknown’s Tour which I thought was the best sound we’d achieved with that line up.''
Also done a press release which you can download here (I think):

The '30 Odd Years Tour' launches in 2014 in style  with a Marc Riley session on 27th March http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00c72y1 
Followed by - 
28th March New Continental Preston (very happy to be paying another visit to Preston - see below) https://www.facebook.com/events/669518639737467/ 

29th March The Seventh Wave Presents @ The Cross Birmingham + The June Brides + Yeah Yeah Noh (Haven't been to Birmingham for a while, looking forward to it.)   http://www.junebridesmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/events/524322600996208/    
 19th April The Thunderbolt Bristol + The Blue Orchids + The Short Stories (Another Goodie) https://www.facebook.com/groups/128792067300972/?fref=ts

 
3rd May The Situation Presents @ Rigger Rock Venue Stoke              (Vic's pleased as he's been wanting to play in Stoke) https://www.facebook.com/riggerlive 
In fact both Vic and the gnu are particularly looking forward to the whole weekend as the Sect are heading just up the road on Sunday 4th May, headlining The Situation's 3rd Birthday Bash. A massive 1-day festival set within the grounds of The Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek http://www.foxloweartscentre.org.uk/the-situation-presents/ with 3 stages, 21 acts and an absolute bargain at £6 adv or £7 on the door (there were some early bird tickets for £5) and it's part of the esteemed Leek Arts Festival which features a cornucopia of events. It's a bank holiday so why not make a weekend of it? http://www.leekartsfestival.org/

In August (some time between 7-10th, don't have a day yet) we're packing our buckets and spades and taking the charabanc to  'Good Old Fun Packed Blackpool', final destination  Bizarre Bazaar @ Rebellion Festival. 
(The photo on the left was one of the alternatives for the cover of the Blackpool epcd)   
19th September - back to another popular venue The Star & Shadow Newcastle  http://www.starandshadow.org.uk/ details to follow - Perhaps with another film, maybe Lluis Huedo's Vic to Vic film, Martyn Smith's film and/or Geoffrey Taylor's poignant short film Close, shown at The London Short Film Festival this month. Birth and Death and Empty Shell are part of the soundtrack.
https://www.facebook.com/closefilm?fref=ts  
http://shortfilms.org.uk/events/2014-01-16-new-shorts-22-father 
20th September Rock Garden Revisited (more old friends) @ TBC (possibly Middlesbrough) 
Delighted that Pellethead are on board again. http://www.rockgardenrevisited.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/Pelletheadband?fref=ts
More dates to be confirmed and announced. 

I was going to do a full review of 2013 and in fact I did start one but  inadvertently deleted it so instead these photos are a precis, hopefully showing in a nutshell  the diversity of Godard/Gnu Inc activity in 2013 including 9 Subway Sect gigs with seven different ups! Did things pan out as tentatively hoped/planned last January? No, of course not.(see February 2013) One seemingly small and yet telling change in the gnu's frame of mind is she hasn't put off the dreaded tax return until last knockings and didn't introduce any sadomasochism in to the process this year by asking Vic to help. 'Tales of the Sect' (Feb. blog) hasn't progressed any further and it looks like Trigger's contribution is going to be the one and only.  
 'Vic Obscure Facts' (October blog) was another idea that didn't quite take off, forgetting to add them and the first one was obviously just too obscure, realistically only the people there would have known - thanks Lee McFadden for at least having a stab at: What was Vic's connection to Brian Davison?  Let me tell you a story - Sometime In 1978 (Vic says it was after the Buzzcocks Love Bites Tour) due to one of life's many vagaries Brian Davison of The Nice ended up temporarily living at Rehearsal Rehearsal Camden (it's a conundrum why so many pitched up there) and in exchange for his lodgings Micky Foote asked him to rehearse with Subway Sect, drummerless since Bob Ward's departure for Dexy's.  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/brian-davison-drummer-with-the-nice-813354.html

 It is quite extraordinary the number of people whose musical careers took off from those rooms in Camden. Could it have happened without Micky Foote, working for management aka Mr Rhodes he was photographer, producer, engineer, live sound man and he literally built the studio.  Some of those on the Rehearsal Rehearsal  roll call -  Dexy's, Bow Wow Wow, Boy George, The Special's, Black Arabs, The Clash, The Joboxers........And what did Micky get in return for his blood, sweat and tears, production, photography, etc? (Rhetorical question.) After he and Bernard parted company it was another Michael who took over at the desk who later went on to work with Andrew Roachford.
 The gnu can remember opening a door once at the studio to find herself staring in to what looked like a dusty, drafty black emptiness leading who knew where but in fact it was a 'portal'  into a Victorian labyrinth of tunnels and passageways, some with narrow gauge rail tracks and leading all over the place, one tunnel to The Roundhouse. Vic and the gnu decided to find out a bit more and it's fascinating, this amongst much more -
'The surviving elements of Camden Goods Yard, along with the Roundhouse, stationary winding engine house, Primrose Hill Tunnel Eastern Portals (also listed at Grade II*) and Regent’s Canal represent a particularly important concentration of C19 transport and industrial buildings illustrating the development of canal and rail goods shipment.'
http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1258100
and then Baker sent a link to his blog about the tunnels and some brilliantly evocative photos:
http://thebaker77.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/the-subways-and-tunnels-of-camden-town/

Just a couple of the gnu's highlights of 2013 -
The gig at The New Continental Preston in May, one of our favourite venues and great food, very good vibe. (Also where we first met Andrew Wilson- see below) http://newcontinental.net/whats-on/event/vic-godard-subway-sect-plus-special-guests-0 . We stayed opposite Preston Bus Garage (review in earlier blog, probably June) and are very pleased that it's profile has been raised and it is now listed thanks to a lot of local and national campaigning http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/architecture/love-hate-and-concrete-the-battle-for-preston-bus-station-9035713.html?origin=internalSearch and playing its part Paul Adams' and writer Andrew Wilson's film 56,000 - A Short Film about Preston Bus Station, you can watch it here http://prestonbusstation.co.uk/56000/film.html
Courtesy of  Andrew Wilson
There is method in my madness at this point and a connection as I leap forward  to the two gigs in Hamburg in November at Astra Stube http://www.astra-stube.de/ which were hugely enjoyable thanks to the very warm welcome from Markus, Marijana, Martin, Bruno, everyone else at Astra Stube and everyone who came - it was sold out both nights. Really felt at home in Hamburg and looking forward to going back, adding to general bonhomie it was a happy coincidence that Andrew Wilson happened to be on a trip to Hamburg with his oldest friend Dave and his brother Rog at the same time we were and they came to both gigs at Astra Stube. Born To Be A Rebel video sound check 08/09/2013
 
 Vic and the gnu's trip to Vic and Barcelona in August was like a holiday with friends, all the details in last September's blog. Vic really enjoys spending time writing with Mates Mates and sang with them live for the first time at La Festa Major de Gràcia Barcelona. Video below is  'Whip Rules', one of the tracks on the Vic to Vic 7" released last February on famèlic Barcelona. Active desire to return.

Happy Birthday to  Creeping Bent, 20 this year, kicked off their celebrations on 18th January in Glasgow as part of Celtic Connections with The Pop Group & The Sexual Objects - Great Review in The Independent:on 22nd and on line here:  http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/the-pop-group-gig-review-a-lurid-form-of-bedsit-discopunk-9071442.html
 http://www.celticconnections.com/Pages/default.aspx     http://www.thepopgroup.net/
https://www.facebook.com/bentpage    http://www.creepingbent.net/index.htm
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sexual-Objects/268349712699?fref=ts

It was a chilled out trip in June for the Glasgow Jazz Festival and Neu Reekie in Edinburgh. Vic opened for The Jazzateers in Glasgow, singing jazz standards with The Jazz Independents  with the added bonus of James Kirk joining them for 'Felicity' again. If anyone did any videos of Vic singing the jazz songs I'd love to see them.   https://www.facebook.com/Jazzateers
https://www.facebook.com/neureekie


Vic & Sexual Objects CCA Glasgow 23/11/2013

The next two videos are from the sound check at Sounds in the Suburbs Presents Vic Godard & The Sexual Objects at the CCA Glasgow in November 2013. As well as doing the whole of What's The Matter Boy they were also going to do a few Lou Reid/ VU numbers as a tribute but didn't have time so lucky gnu filmed them at the sound check. She's My Best Friend and I'm Set Free. https://www.facebook.com/soundsin.thesuburbs?fref=ts


Low points, musically speaking? The gnu reports they are generally speaking mercifully few and that over the years the number of beings who have seriously got the gnu's goat and who she would happily see abducted by aliens is only two, one in the 1980's and one a few years ago, musically speaking.  An unfeasibly low number you may mutter if you've heard the gnu having a moan but I'm not saying that other people haven't tested the gnu's tolerance levels over the years, an early example was Mr Rhodes, whose outpourings would test the patience of a saint let alone a gnu (she always thought he rehearsed because you couldn't interrupt and break the flow) but mostly they left her bemused and occasionally nonplussed, no lasting rancour though. (Gnu first met Bernard at Club Left at the Wag. He sent someone over to fetch her to his table for a chat, she can't remember who it was. The chat consisted of Mr Rhodes saying "I hope you are not planning to lead Vic up the garden path, I've got plans for him."
and the gnu, nonplussed, saying " Uh, No." End of conversation. If only they had all been that brief!
New T Design + Deliberate Mistake

So you may ask who has recently been a pain in the rear end................it's slipped my mind at the moment but I'm sure it will come back to me!
Another new T Shirt on the way-

Gnu fears the outings to 'Filth' and 'Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense' were anomalous and future similar events are likely to be few and far between so not a panto to report on.
Currently reading Ngaio Marsh's Roderick Alleyn stories so can recommend if you enjoy well written, murderous plots, a good yarn and darker than you might imagine. My reading happens to be coinciding with Alibi showing the entertaining 1990's TV series with the very talented Patrick Malahide. Although I really enjoy the series it doesn't do the books justice, there is a lot more meat to them. Mr Malahide was also in one of my top ten TV programmes, Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective.    
http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?an=Ngaio+Marsh&bi=0&bx=off&ds=50&kn=%22Roderick+Alleyn%22&sortby=17
http://www.cathoderaytube.co.uk/2009/05/singing-detective-dennis-potter.html
http://alibi.uktv.co.uk/shows/inspector-alleyn-mysteries/
Or if you fancy your murder mysteries period, murkier, stranger and dare I say it a tad self indulgent, there's John Banville's Booker shortlisted 'The Book Of Evidence' . First in a trilogy.....haven't felt compelled to rush to read next two yet.  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3659.The_Book_of_Evidence

Siegfried Sassoon  

Lest We Forget-It being the 100 year anniversary this year of the start of the First World War I recommend the War Poets ( www.warpoetry.co.uk) particularly Rupert Brooke http://www.rupertbrooke.com/poems/1914/v_the_soldier/ and Sigfried Sassoon (left), there's an audio clip of him here - http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoet.do?poetId=1561
and  Pat Barker's Regeneration Trilogy, heartbreaking and visceral.
http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780141030937,00.html?strSrchSql=Pat+Barker/Regeneration_Pat_Barker

                                          
“The rank stench of those bodies haunts me still” 
 The rank stench of those bodies haunts me still
And I remember things I'd best forget.
For now we've marched to a green, trenchless land
Twelve miles from battering guns: along the grass
Brown lines of tents are hives for snoring men;
Wide, radiant water sways the floating sky
Below dark, shivering trees. And living-clean
Comes back with thoughts of home and hours of sleep.
To-night I smell the battle; miles away
Gun-thunder leaps and thuds along the ridge;
The spouting shells dig pits in fields of death,
And wounded men, are moaning in the woods.
If any friend be there whom I have loved,
God speed him safe to England with a gash.
It's sundown in the camp; some youngster laughs,
Lifting his mug and drinking health to all
Who come unscathed from that unpitying waste:
(Terror and ruin lurk behind his gaze.)
Another sits with tranquil, musing face,
Puffing bis pipe and dreaming of the girl
Whose last scrawled letter lies upon his knee.
The sunlight falls, low-ruddy from the west,
Upon their heads. Last week they might have died
And now they stretch their limbs in tired content.
One says 'The bloody Bosche has got the knock;
'And soon they'll crumple up and chuck their games.
'We've got the beggars on the run at last!'
Then I remembered someone that I'd seen
Dead in a squalid, miserable ditch,
Heedless of toiling feet that trod him down.
He was a Prussian with a decent face,
Young, fresh, and pleasant, so 1 dare to say.
No doubt he loathed the war and longed for peace,
And cursed our souls because we'd killed bis friends.
One night he yawned along a haIf-dug trench
Midnight; and then the British guns began
With heavy shrapnel bursting low, and 'hows'
Whistling to cut the wire with blinding din.
He didn't move; the digging still went on;
Men stooped and shovelled; someone gave a grunt,
And moaned and died with agony in the sludge.
Then the long hiss of shells lifted and stopped.
He stared into the gloom; a rocket curved,
And rifles rattled angrily on the left
Down by the wood, and there was noise of bombs.
Then the damned English loomed in scrambling haste
Out of the dark and struggled through the wire,
And there were shouts and eurses; someone screamed
And men began to blunder down the trench
Without their rifles. It was time to go:
He grabbed his coat; stood up, gulping some bread;
Then clutched his head and fell.
I found him there
In the gray morning when the place was held.
His face was in the mud; one arm flung out
As when he crumpled up; his sturdy legs
Were bent beneath bis trunk; heels to the skye.        Siegfried Sassoon
Green and Pleasant Land

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Gert's Back-Non-Stop November-Hamburg-edinburgh-Glasgow-Newcastle-30 Odd Years & General Round Up.


Blimey, time is flying and lots to report - Vic and the gnu were out and about throughout November, Hamburg with Subway Sect, Glasgow and Edinburgh with The Sexual Objects, Newcastle with Subway Sect and everyone involved is busy getting 30 Odd Years ready for release, it's sounding great. Usually at this time of year, anticipating the joys of the festive season, I turn in to a bit of a  Grinch but there hasn't been time. SAD has usually dampened my customary joie de vivre by December but perhaps because we actually had a decent quota of sunshine and warmth in 2013 there is no sign of it yet. (Still time!). Preparations well under way now for the Sect's last two gigs of 2013 - the two Christmas Specials the 6 piece Sect with the wonderful, inimitable Asbo Derek.  First up on 13th December- everyone always looks forward to visits to the seaside to play for Spinning Chilli Presents at The Green Door Store Brighton, always a lark and for the special we've got a raffle, crackers, mince pies, gnu's sweet treat mementos and lots of merch.......

Below is a video of Asbo Derek performing probably my favourite song of theirs - succinctly getting to the nub of the matter using five words with wit, humour and a good tune is a rare art form. (If you know who the subject of the song is, try singing it to yourself and keeping a straight face) It was filmed the last night Vic and Subway Sect enjoyed a night of musical magic and mayhem at the seaside for Spinning Chilli in April this year.
                                        https://www.facebook.com/asbo.derek.9?fref=ts
 I know this is a bit late but a few tickets are left for 13th December as I write:
 http://www.wegottickets.com/event/234123  https://www.facebook.com/spinningchilli?fref=ts
 https://www.facebook.com/events/543458325689892/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
Then on Saturday 14th December it's the Second Christmas Special for another old regular favourite -  Symptomatic Presents at The Water Rats London. Not only is Asbo Derek on board for another night of festive fun but hailing from Pompeii The Shak & Speares  and The Widows. Raffle, Sweet Treats, lots of merch and more. First prize similar to above but gnu is still tweaking the details. Even fewer tickets available as I write - http://www.wegottickets.com/event/232006  https://www.facebook.com/shakandspeares http://www.symptomaticpresents.com/
A taster of The Shak & Speares - Tangoosh from their debut album Gangster.

Time travelling now - November kicked off with Vic, Mark, Paul, Myers and Yusuf (Sect stalwart Kev couldn't make it this time) wending their way back to Hamburg for two gigs playing for Markus Wilhelms again at Astra Stube - http://www.astra-stube.de/
Shady looking bunch if you ask me!

Three Wise Monkeys Chilling At Hamburg Airport
Huge thanks to Markus and Marijana for their hospitality, almost unbelievably hassle free trip and loved Hamburg and it's people. Never had such an easy journey anywhere - parked opposite terminal at Heathrow and can't praise Lufthansa enough, they were AMAZINGLY efficient, very helpful staff, we left exactly on time and arrived early in Hamburg, the same on the return. In fact we were so early on the way back that the pilot gave us a scenic tour  circling and wing tipping to give everyone a good view, first port then starboard. (AND it was cheaper than the budget airlines!) http://www.lufthansa.com/uk/en/Homepage

We stayed 5 minutes walk from Astra Stube at the Nordic Domicil, although very low on tripadvisor ratings we all thought it was great. Slightly shabby but clean, comfy, and helpful staff, definitely stay there again.http://www.nordic-hotels.com/en/hotels/hamburg-nordic-hotel-domicl/
(One word of caution re: taxis, if you order a taxi for six to the airport through the hotel make sure the company they are using has them and make it clear that you don't want to pay for two taxis... otherwise you will end up paying for two) Lots of new friends, including DJ Martin Soulstew, spinning great soul tunes on both nights and met up again with a few who came from Blighty, Andrew Wilson who we met in Preston with his brother Rog and best friend Dave. Andrew's short film about Preston's iconic Bus garage (now saved from demolition) is available to watch on youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPVSV02Pz7c
This is an interview Vic recorded for Martin's radio show before going out to Hamburg - https://soundcloud.com/martin_at_soulstew/soulstew-asutralian-r-b-and  Below is the Gnu's slightly surreal 'Snapshot Of Hamburg' Video-

 Below is Stop That Girl, Holiday Hymn and Won't Turn Back. Vic and the Sect played blinders and everyone is looking forward to going back soon, especially now that Astra Stube has been granted a 2 year stay of execution - the local authorities are hoping to develop the area, read gentrify, and Astra Stube was due to close this year - sacrilege!http://www.astra-stube.de/                                  

All in all a very enjoyable trip with only one Blott on the Landscape ( digressing - I like Tom Sharpe's books http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/editions/blott-on-the-landscape/9780099435471 ), the Sect were infected by a touch of the liggers, flashbacks to Le Grand Mal but hopefully nipped in the bud.  

By Uli Webber
Before they were off again Vic and G paid a visit to the theatre (the gnu doesn't want you to get the wrong idea if you've read any previous blogs in 2013 and imagine that theatre and cinema  outings are de rigueur as part of the Godard social whirl, one could say more or less unknown in 30 Odd Years, it just so happens that there have been THREE this year - positively freakish) to see 'Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense'. Vic is a big J&W fan and particularly likes the ITV series http://www.pgwodehousebooks.com/fry-laurie.htm G liked the series but not so keen on the books, so surprising that G enjoyed it immensely and had several spontaneous laugh out loud moments (fairly rare occasions) whereas Vic's appreciation was muted, his favourite bit being after the play when the three cast members danced a couple of seconds of the Charleston (Strictly fan). Not a straightforward J&W story, the premise was J&W actually doing the play themselves. Stephen Mangan plays Wooster to a T and Matthew Macfadyen and Mark Hadfield valiantly played everyone else. Mr Macfadyen is a revelation as Jeeves and several other parts, including Madeline Bassett, in one scene playing both her and Jeeves at the same time, brilliant comedic skill and  timing. Highly Recommended.http://www.jeevesandwoosterplay.com/

Hotel views Edinburgh & Glasgow. Both very quiet rooms!

On the left Vic & The Sexual Objects 'Stayin' Outta Touch' at the  CCA Glasgow 23/11/2013 
Next up live wise was the trip to Scotland for Sounds in the Suburbs Presents Vic Godard and The Sexual Objects 'What's The Matter Boy' weekend at The Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh and CCA Glasgow. Always look forward to Caledonian forays and this one didn't disappoint, despite poor Ian Holford being sick as a dog and having to do FOUR sets in two days - nothing less than heroic.
Vic and the gnu stayed at the Holiday Inn Express again in Edinburgh, the same room even, same enjoyable stay (see prev blog). In Glasgow they rang the changes and stayed at Menzies, a little more expensive than Jury's Inn or Alexander Thompson, but very comfy, clean, quiet (surprisingly, see photo above), fresh milk offered!!, 24 hour room service and smoking rooms. (Have to say Holiday Inn work harder at dealing with the stale tobacco smell). Recommend and will stay again - http://www.menzieshotels.co.uk/hotels/scotland/glasgow/
The SOBS are always a joy to watch and their fab new single Feels With Me is also one of my favourite live numbers -http://www.youtube.comwatch?v=CQmdRaLPUmk
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/feels-with-me-single/id730923615 
     

Vic & The SOBs 'I'm Set Free' at CCA sound check.
                               
I didn't keep any videos from The Voodoo Rooms, thought I'd do lots on the Saturday at the CCA but that didn't work out either but I did film Stayin' Outta View, Felicity with James Kirk and Andy Alston on accordion coming aboard (below). Also got two corkers at the CCA sound check, I'm Set Free and She's My Best Friend, below, which didn't make it in to the set.
      
No sooner home than gearing up for the last foray north of 2013 to play for Michael Clunkie again at The Star and Shadow Newcastle with Opium Kitchen and another of my favs Pellethead. I love visits to the North East, always a great crowd and atmosphere and very friendly. Vic's performance was spell bindingly full on. http://www.starandshadow.org.uk/
The only good video I got is Music Of A Werewolf.
Lee and Tracey have many more including Pellethead and Opium Kitchen, to name but a couple. https://www.youtube.com/user/leefact25/videos
We all (no overnight interloper on this Sect stay, phew) stayed round the corner from the Star and Shadow at Premier Inn Millenium Bridge (quite a long walk from the station and not quite as straight a route as it looks on a map!). Although it's on a busy road it is set back and surprisingly quiet as I chose a room at the front with river views. Very accommodating and friendly staff, large room with seating area, clean, very comfortable, good breakfast choice and dinner OK. (I am VERY picky and have never been a breakfast person). A bit of a bargain I'd say and certainly recommend.
 http://www.premierinn.com/en/hotel/NEWMTI/newcastle-city-centre-millennium-bridge  
 30 ODD YEARS UPDATE - All been a bit frantic but nearly there. Fingers crossed masters and art work to manufacturers next week. It is sounding AMAZING thanks to Mike Coe Music Maestro Mastering. Watch out for a January 2014 release date and a party, Wahay. Download of 30 OY will come with the CDs. Time to sneak a peek at the front cover, photograph by Andréa Cerqueira and art work by the multi-talented Andrew Shaw. The rest of the art work
looks brill as well.


   A Helter Skelter of a musical ride with Vic from 1978 to 2013 demonstrating an extraordinary range of musical genres and styles and what a truly skilled, inspiring songwriter Vic is while  always staying true to the 'punk' spirit that emerged in 1976. Look out for the accompanying web page which will have info like this and more at: www.vicgodard.co.uk  
 Other News - Gigs on the horizon in 2014:
March 29th The Cross Birmingham with The June Brides
April 19th The Thunderbolt Bristol with The Blue Orchids http://www.bristolticketshop.co.uk/eventdetails.aspx?e=4668
May 3rd Riggers Stoke
May 4th The Leek Arts Festival http://leekartsfestival.co.uk/  
August Rebellion Blackpool
and many more to be announced. Lots of other info,links and more at: www.vicgodard.co.uk
STOP PRESS Last minute additional treat - Vic sang Blackpool with The Bitter Springs last night at their gig in Brentford to wish Phil and Helen Martin a fond farewell as they relocate North East. Filmed by Lee McFadden .https://www.facebook.com/TheBitterSprings?fref=ts


All for now.
     

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Gert Gives Gnu the Blog,Hols, 90,Sorry 30 Odd Years, Filth & More

Gnu here, Gert's let me temporarily Take Over the blog while she's taking a break, so hope it doesn't Derail Your Senses or Make Me Sad and end up an Empty Shell...... but I Won't Turn Back until The Writer's Slumped.

As no recording on the horizon for 1979 Now in September and no gigs Vic and I decided to have a couple of Napper days on the South Coast. Vic suggested Camber Sands and I said Oh alright Go On Then, hoping for a Trouble free stay and that it wouldn't result in Malicious Love.



The whole area has a surreal natural/unnatural beauty made up of a Site of Special Scientific Interest which includes Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and Rye golf course. The first golf competition took  place in 1894 and demonstrating a notably rare and early bit of feminism within the golfing fraternity the club welcomed female members right from the start.  http://www.ryegolfclub.co.uk/  , so  bird watchers, walkers, dog or other and all golfers all taken care of.
There is a really quite eerie vibe about the place (cue Music of a Werewolf) -  the tide sometimes goes out a mile, the sea is striped and there's some weird and wonderful skies, possibly the combination of topography, geography, wind farms and nuclear power stations.The fortifications at the River Rother estuary entrance (try saying that after a few) to Rye Harbour are at one end of Camber Sands, the defenses built during the Napoleonic Wars as was the Martello Tower now a kilometre inland. Dungeness Power Stations are at the other end of the very long windswept beach bounded by a mountain range of sand dunes and it is visually very striking, in a brutalist/end of the world kind of way, set on the shingle beside the sea, juxtaposed as it is with lighthouses old and new and fishing shacks, most long since turned into bijou residences, metres away and literally in it's shadow. (Derek Jarman lived in one, famous for it's garden, him being a well respected gardener as well as a film director)
       



 http://www.gardenvisit.com/garden/derek_jarman_garden_prospect_cottage_dungeness
http://www.sssi.naturalengland.org.uk/Special/sssi/unitlist.cfm?sssi_id=2000533
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/kent/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8478000/8478420.stm
Took the camcorder to get some practise in, not any actual obvious improvements in technique but in mitigation I was fighting the elements. First up is from entrance to Rye Harbour and over the golf course. Vic makes a couple of guest appearances. Can you make out what he says at the end of this one?                           
    


  Imbalance/deck of a pitching ship special effect courtesy of the wind.It was very, very windy...
 

The upside of the inclement weather- extraordinary clouds galore, this doesn't really do them justice-



We dodged some rain with a ride on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, mostly rattling along behind back fences, occasional glimpses of the sea. No mention of Dungeness even though  train sets off right next to the power station. Signs all over telling you what to do in the event of a nuclear accident - well that close and it's simple-hope for some Ice on the Volcano ....or die. In Hythe.I unfortunately stopped filming at the wrong moment (below) and missed That Train on the left coming back past us the other way.  http://www.rhdr.org.uk/about.html

video


http://thegallivanthotel.com/
Stayed at The Gallivant Hotel in Camber, the beach just over the road and through the famous sand dunes. The hotel started out as a motel a couple of decades ago and the L-shaped layout hasn't changed but all ghosts of any dingy/Bates Motel connotations anyone may have about motels have been well and truly exorcised. Dog/child friendly and 5 of the rooms have their own direct access. Very accommodating and friendly staff. We had large, comfy room and it was very peaceful while we were there but it was mid week, the schools had gone back and the weather had changed, could have been a Different Story, this is a very busy area generally when the sun shines. The Gallivant's Beach Bistro menu was one of the deciding factors for choosing this hotel and we weren't disappointed. Unsurprisingly fish figures prominently, the Rye Bay plaice was particularly tasty and the puddings are good too. Definitely worth a visit.  http://thebeachbistro.com/

Both Vic & I have childhood memories of the area-
3 generations of Wissies still doing days at the beach

Mine are of family days out to vast, windswept beaches, picnics in the car while outside the wind whipped up the sand . Numbers varied from seven plus dog to four plus dogs but mayhem always ensued with my mother making the usual Same Mistakes in vainly attempting to control us all with a rolled up newspaper, both it and my mother's temper shredded well before we ran out of steam.


Throughout his childhood Vic spent many an enjoyable summer holiday at Littlestone Holiday Camp with his family, given the freedom to roam at will, exploring on his bike, playing Crazy Crazy golf, Nobody's Scared for his welfare. Sadly now replaced by a fairly grim looking caravan park. Vic remarks here on one particular event-

''A memorable year was '62 when the famous double winning Spurs team* came down to play against the holidaymakers.My  dad played and managed to get his collar-bone broken in an aerial challenge.Probably that Dave Mackay -he always was a brute.So that day ended in Folkestone General.''

* For those not in to football - 'Double winning' - League and FA Cup; Spurs - Tottenham Hotspur FC. 

Vic/Sect/Sobs/ News......and 30 Odd Years 
Website news- 'Sansend' and '1978 Now' downloads went live on the website  and  T Shirts are much easier to get hold of with a buy now button, all thanks to Mr A Shaw. http://www.vicgodard.co.uk/t_shirts.html

November is going to be a bit of a frantic old month, apart from 30 Odd Years there's the two Subway Sect gigs in Hamburg on 8th/9th only a few weeks away, rehearsals under way. The great Martin Soulstew is the very special guest on both nights. https://soundcloud.com/martin_at_soulstew
Then it's Scotland!  Sounds in the Suburbs The Sexual Objects What's the Matter Boy on 22nd/23rd at the Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh and CCA Glasgow.
The next weekend 29th/30th it's 2 of the last four Subway Sect Specials 2013 at The Star and Shadow Newcastle ***UPDATE 11/10/2013-  Déjà Vu- Due to the unforeseen the Hebden Bridge gig is cancelled.then on to Hebdon Bridge Trades Club with The Hamsters and Andy T.
Last 2 are the Christmas Specials with Asbo Derek on 13th/14th December  for Spinning Chilli Presents Brighton and Symptomatic Presents London. (First delivery of sweeties arrived!)
For details and ticket info for all gigs see last blog or www.vicgodard.co.uk  or https://www.facebook.com/vic.godard.3


Vic Godard - 30 Odd Years Update: After getting the 2 CD project off the ground with a rush of enthusiasm last month and really enjoying compiling the track listing, quite a trip down memory lane (now complete, though this isn't the cover, just working copy), the full enormity of the task began to sink in and brought the mood down a tad. There was so much to do so I made a list, a boon for organisation but bad for morale- mastering; choose packaging; cover design; artwork; notes; booklet; compiling- contributors, musicians/singers; producers,engineers, recorders,audio experts; credits for  artwork, photographs,notes; distribution; promotion, etc.............

PANIC sets in-after a few days of manic activity with very little to show for it, I started unconsciously referring to it as 90 Odd Years (think Vic thought this was some veiled subconscious personal allusion). Acceptance that I did not have all the requisite skills necessary to do 300 Odd Years proud did not immediately make the situation any better so had a couple of head in sand days. Upon sticking the horns above the hedge line, it was not hunters of the lesser spotted gnu appearing over the horizon but knights in shining armour so many thanks and gratitude to Andrew, Mike, Michael and Lee (the watchful eye). I believe  this really is going to be the Best Album covering Vic's musical career fairly comprehensively, although I could easily have filled at least one other CD and what would have been ideal would be to have had a 'live' companion piece and a DVD. Maybe for 40 Odd Years.
 


1979 Now Update - I Wish there was but Back In A Void Again on that one. (Not as doom laden as that, Vic should be back in the studio very soon)

 Obscure Vic Facts - No 1
What is Vic's connection with Brian Davison?  Answers to https://www.facebook.com/vic.godard.3  Small gnu gift to first person to get it.

Looks like 2014 is going to be a busy one both releases and gig wise, not usually sorting  dates this early except for the odd one here and there and already got some Subway Sect ones booked and quite a few enquiries. I think it's karmic - Vic was hoping to play some of the places he hasn't visited in a while or not at all and hey presto it seems to be happening. He's been going on about a gig in Stoke and it now looks on the cards. (Personally think Homes Under The Hammer has been having a subliminal effect, so Derby could be next)

Blackpool August- Well, had to, gnu inc are doing a 7" of Blackpool next year and if the Sect are in similar company to this year's Bizarre Bazaar stage should be a goodie. http://www.rebellionfestivals.com/
Blackpool video courtesy of Andrew Paul Shaw.

And this one below is Vic and Subway Sect at Rebellion 2008 -
video
                                                                               
                                                                           
Plans afoot for Birmingham (October); Leek Staffs, Stoke (May) Norwich (summer) and many more.

Fantasy Gnu Fest 2014 -
I've been day dreaming about a Gnu Fest to complement 30 Odd Years, one of those 'if money were no object' things. It would be an all-dayer not just music but art/literature/comedy and with everyone having a Vic link. I'd have two stages, one for poets, writers, comedy, acoustic and jazz and the other for everyone else. (It would also have proper loos, proper paths and a giant retractable roof- well, it is a fantasy) My current line up is, in no particular order:

Stage 1
Vic Godard Subway Sect Sexual Objects Bitter Springs Mates Mates Kill Pretty Shock and Awe Long Decline Asbo Derek Pellethead  ATV Monochrome Set Television (and New York Dolls, if they still had Johnny Thunders) The Fall (how did they get in...Vic you been at my blog?) Vgn Dentata Organ Post Opium Kitchen The Black Arabs
Acoustic/Jazz/Poets/Raconteurs Stage
Edwyn Collins Sexual Objects Vic & The Jazz Independents Pete Saunders Subway Sect 1981
Jock Scot Richard Hell John Cooper Clarke Kevin Pearce (Vic wanted Bruce Forsyth but I told him this was my line up and to do his own)

                                                     
                                                             

Video 'Parallel Lines' with brilliant Jock Scot intro (not just saying that because he gives L& R Vol 2 a plug), collaboratively filmed by Tracey Holloway and Lee McFadden.  

Incidentally- 

We haven't been to the flics as a couple for aeons ( we both agree it was 'American Werewolf In London' in Manchester late 1981) so it was a real treat that for our re-introduction to the delights of the silver screen we were invited to the full on London premiere- blue red carpet, paparazzi, some unidentifiable sparkly clad faux celebs, flashing bulbs, the whole caboodle (ooh er get her) of 'Filth', the latest of Irvine Welsh's books to be brought to the screen, with a plethora of talent making this an ensemble piece. I've read the book and couldn't imagine how  it could be adapted for the screen, also fairly sure I wouldn't want to put myself through watching it if it was, so Respect to Jon S. Baird for direction and a screenplay that captures and delivers the essence of the full on visceral mental disintegration of Irvine's book and stands as it's own entity. Apart from the mesmerising performance by James McAvoy, Shirley Henderson and Eddie Marsan stood out for me, the only obviously sympathetic characters. There's a brilliant Mr Marsan moment where the audience involuntarily goes from gagging to laughing out loud in the same breath. I wonder how many takes it took? Any way one of the funniest moments of the film and there are quite a few, mostly on the darker side of humour. I really enjoyed it and Vic surprised himself by liking it a lot too. http://www.filthmovie.co.uk/
PS My one quibble is Mr McAvoy's prolific pearlies- far too pristine.  
                         
                         Stripes Brentford with the Bitter Springs - this is the record over the live.                                                                       



Seems fitting to end on the news that YHO #50 is the very last FINAL issue of Your Heart Out from Kevin Pearce
''The fiftieth and final issue of YHO is about listening.  It is illustrated using examples of records which have become life-supports between and during YHO explorations.  These might include ones by Pinch, Pursuit Grooves, Photek, Cyrus, Sherwood, Shackleton and Smith & Mighty, but that’s not really the point.''
As always FREE to download for ALL- http://yrheartout.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/yho50.html   (We'll always have the archive)

                               


                          Hope I haven't left you with any long term side effects- Gnu out.